So I’ve been diagnosed with pneumonia.
It started with a mild cold about ten days ago. Usually my colds aren’t too big an issue, but this one started getting worse and when, five days in, I developed a fever and a nasty chest-cough I knew enough to call our family’s doctor and make an appointment. It took the nurse practitioner who was able to see me (on half an hour’s notice, no less) about five seconds to diagnose me once I’d gotten my shirt off — apparently pneumonia makes a distinctive “crackling” sound in your lungs which is clearly audible through a stethoscope. Half an hour later I was picking up a week’s worth of azithromycin at the pharmacy down the street.
This is the second time in my life I’ve gotten to deal with this particular illness, and just like last time the thing that’s been driving me nuts about pneumonia is that you don’t actually feel too bad. You’ve got almost no energy or appetite, but it’s comparable to a moderate cold, really. Lots of coughing up multicoloured crud (and sore chest muscles from all the coughing), but you’re not in bed all the time with a fever. You’re halfway functional, if somewhat prone to cold-sweats, wooziness and headaches.
I tend to drag-ass around, but I’ll get a burst of energy for an hour or two, login to the office remotely, or run out and do an errand or (apparently) write a blog post… and then it’s like somebody just pulls a plug: I’ll just collapse and sleep for four or five hours.
It’s not nearly as bad as the last time I got pneumonia (ten years ago, double pneumonia and I let it go on for about six weeks before I saw a doctor) but it’s still pretty irritating. I’ve got stuff to do. I can’t be collapsing willy-nilly. It just blows these huge holes in my day.
Fortunately, the dogs are quite happy to snuggle with me me on the bed at any hour of the day. (They’re generous like that.) I suppose I should count my blessings: I’ve got an understanding employer, a VPN connection to the office, and health insurance. I’ve also got plenty of sick days in the bank, so the paycheque won’t suffer.
But damn, it’s frustrating.